Indian Groups Associated with Spanish Missions of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
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Mission San José was established at San Antonio in 1720, two years after the first mission, Valero, was founded. Mission Valero had been organized by missionaries from Quertaro, but San José was inaugurated by missionaries from Zacatecas, who apparently were eager to work among the numerous displaced Indian groups of the San Antonio area. As the early registers of Mission San José have not been found, the names of its resident Indian groups must come from other kinds of documents which happen to mention some of them. It seems evident that more Indian groups were represented at San José than those whose names are given below.


Various documents definitely link the Aguastaya with Mission San José (Forrestal 1931:20; Haggard 1942:77; Morfi 1935:98), but these do not indicate a pre-mission location for the Aguastaya. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the Aguastaya may have lived somewhere not far south of San Antonio. It has been speculated that the Aguastaya may have been the same people as the Oaz recorded by Espinosa in 1708 as living in southern Texas, and possibly the same as the Yguaz (Yguazes) known to Cabeza de Vaca in 1533-1535 (Campbell and Campbell 1981:22-23). Although some writers suggest that the Aguastaya may have spoken Coahuilteco (Swanton 1940:134), this is not demonstrable.


Aranama has sometimes been confused with Xarame and some of its name variants, but there is no known connection between the two Indian groups. Very few Aranama seem to have entered San Antonio missions. Schuetz (1980b:56) reports the presence of "Jaraname, Araname" at Mission San José, but appears to have overlooked the eight Aranama individuals recorded in the registers of Mission Valero for the period 1748-1762. It is possible that the Aranama of San José were visitors, not residents of the mission.

The Aranama, when first clearly recorded, seem to have been associated with an inland area that extended eastward from the lower Guadalupe River, perhaps as far as the lower Colorado River. Most of the Aranama entered Mission Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga at its two successive locations in the Goliad area, and several Aranama individuals were recorded at Mission Nuestra Señora del Refugio as late as 1817 (Bolton 1915; Oberste 1942).

A few Aranama words have been recorded, and for a time these were believed to indicate a relationship with the Coahuilteco language. Goddard (1979:372-373, 377, 380) has shown that there is not enough evidence to link the Aranama words with any documented language of southern Texas.


See Concepción: Borrado.


Camama has been variously written as Camana, Canama, and Canana, and it is not known which form of the name is most accurate. The name appears in a diary written in 1767 by José de Solís, who lists a number of Indian groups said to have entered Mission San José after it was established in 1720 (Campbell 1975:20-22; Forrestal 1931:20; Morfi 1935:98). Just who the Camama were, and where they lived before entering San José, remains unknown. It is possible that Camama refers to the Caguaumama recorded at Mission Espada during the period 1753-1767. This is of little help because no identity has yet been established for the Caguaumama.


In 1768 José de Sol is also listed the Cana (Cano) as one of several Indian groups who had entered Mission San José after it was founded (see references in Camama above). It seems reasonable to equate the Cana of San José with the Canua, who originally ranged along both sides of the Rio Grande in the Laredo area (Campbell 1979:8-9). The Canua (also recorded in Mexico as Cano and Cana) entered at least four missions of northeastern Coahuila in northern Nuevo León. The language spoken by the Canua remains unknown.


See Concepción: Chayopin.


See Concepción: Cujan.


Schuetz (1980b:56) reports the presence of "Ais" (Eyeish) at Mission San José. We have not seen the document which contains this information. The Eyeish were a Caddoan group of eastern Texas (Swanton 1942:see Swanton's index for numerous references to Eyeish). It does not appear likely that very many Eyeish were present at San José because in their homeland the Eyeish were hostile to Spanish missionary activity.

Lipan Apache

See Concepción: Lipan Apache.


The name Mayapem, also rendered as Mallopeme, Mauliapenos and Mayapomi, is said to have been recorded for Mission San José (Hodge 1907 Vol. I:695; Schuetz 1980b:56). The Mayapem were first encountered by Spaniards in 1747, when they were living on the delta of the Rio Grande (Escandón 1747:239; see also maps by Jiménez Moreno 1944 and Saldívar 1943). Some of the Mayapem entered missions in northern Tamaulipas-San Agustín de Laredo of Camargo after 1764 and San Joaquín del Monte of Reynosa after 1790 (Bolton 1913:449-451). In 1780, Cabello (1780:37) reported "Mauliapeños" as living along the coast of southern Texas (somewhere between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande), and it was probably some of these who entered Mission San José of San Antonio.

It no longer seems reasonable to classify the Mayapem as Coahuilteco-speakers (Swanton 1940:134). Their association with Cotoname on the Rio Grande delta in 1747 suggests that they may have spoken the Cotoname language, two samples of which have been recorded (Goddard 1979:370).


Mesquite Indians were recorded in various documents as being represented at Mission San José (Bolton 1915:99-100; Forrestal 1931:20; Morfi 1935:98); some Mesquite were present at Mission Espada (Castaneda 1939 Vol. IV:11; Habig 1968:215); and a considerable number of Mesquite also entered Mission Valero (Schuetz 1980b:52). This group name is difficult to assess because it is a name of Nahuatl origin which Spaniards applied to various apparently unrelated Indian groups of Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, and Texas (Campbell 1979:24-25). It cannot be positively stated that the Mesquite of San José, Espada, and Valero were the same people, although it has generally been assumed that they were. As a document of 1708 (Maas 1915:36-37) indicates that a group called Mesquite was then living somewhere south of San Antonio, it seems reasonable to conclude that these were the Mesquite of San José. Swanton (1952:310) was probably thinking of the Mesquite of San José when he classified the Mesquite as Coahuilteco-speakers. It should be noted, however, that no Spanish document has been found that refers to the language spoken by these particular Mesquite.


The Pampopa, one of three Indian groups for which Mission San José was founded in 1720 (Valdéz 1720:17-18), were apparently a fairly numerous group. It is clear that not all of the Pampopa entered Mission San José, for in 1727 some 500 Pampopa were said to be living on the Nueces River in the vicinity of present Dimmit and La Salle Counties (Sevillano de Paredes 1727:42-43). Their territory is known to have extended from the lower Medina River southward across the lower Frio River to the Nueces River. Their ethnohistory has recently been summarized (Campbell 1979:32; Campbell and Campbell 1981:45-48). Some of the Pampopa entered Mission San Juan Bautista of northeastern Coahuila, and a few seem also to have entered Mission Valero at San Antonio. García (1760:title page) identified the Pampopa as speakers of the Coahuilteco language.


The Pastia were closely associated with the Pampopa (see above), shared the same territory, and probably spoke the same language, Coahuilteco. An unknown number of Pastia entered Mission San José with the Pampopa in 1720. Bolton (in Hodge 1910 Vol. II:93) errs in stating that the Pastia were present at Mission Concepción; he mistook two personal names for ethnic group names. All that is currently known about the Pastia has been recently summarized (Campbell and Campbell 1981:49-54). This summary clarifies some of the confusion concerning Pastia name variants.


Schuetz (1980b:56) lists the Pinto as being present at Mission San José. In northeastern Mexico, and particularly in northern Tamaulipas, the Spanish word Pinto was often used to identify any Indians who were tattooed. As no one has yet made an identity study of the Pinto, it is difficult to distinguish between specific and collective uses of the name. The Saulapaguem and Tenicapem (see entries below), who had come to San José from the Rio Grande delta area, were sometimes referred to in Tamaulipas documents as Pinto because they were tattooed. At San José, the name Pinto could have been used to refer either to these two groups or to some particular group that may have been consistently designated as Pinto. Whoever the Pinto of San José actually were, they probably came to the mission from northern Tamaulipas.


Several apparent variants of this name occur in documents, among them Canaguiapem, Ginacapé, Gincape, Guianapaqueños and Quianapaqueños. The Queniacapem were recorded in 1755 and in 1772 as being at a mission known as Nuestra Señora del Rosario en el Cabezón de la Sal, near present-day San Fernando in northeastern Tamaulipas. In the two documents the name is given as Canaguiapem and as Quenicapem (Saenz 1755:622; Conde de la Sierra Gorda 1772:439). The maps of Jiménez Moreno (1944) and Saldívar (1943) render the name as Queniacapem. In 1780 Cabello (1780:37) mentioned that some of the "Quianapaqueños" were then living near the coast of southern Texas, between the Nueces River and the mouth of the Rio Grande. These were probably the same as the Ginacapé or Gincape recorded at Mission San José of San Antonio in 1784-1785 (Hodge 1907 Vol. I:955; Schuetz 1980b:56).


All known variants of the name Saulapaguem are readily recognizable, except perhaps Alapaguem and Talapaguem. At Mission San José the Salapaguem were recorded as Salaphueme, Salapagueme, and Salapaqueme (Bolton, in Hodge 1910 Vol. II:729, 955; Schuetz 1980b:56).

The Saulapaguem were first encountered by Spaniards in 1747, when they were listed as one of many groups who lived on the delta of the Rio Grande (Escandón 1747:237-239). In 1758 they were again recorded as living with other Indian groups in the vicinity of Reynosa, Tamaulipas (Lopez de la Cámara Alta 1758:128-129). The document of 1747 notes that the Saulapaguem and their neighbors used the bow and arrow, hunted birds and deer, and fished. Males wore no clothing whatever, but females wore a short apron made of grass or animal skin. The document of 1758 refers to the Saulapaguem and other named groups as "Pintos" because males were tattooed on the face and females were tattooed on both the face and body. They fished with the bow and arrow. Furthermore, they were said to speak dialects of the same language. If this can be taken at face value, then the language spoken may have been Cotoname, because one of the groups was identified as "Catanamepaque."

Some of the Saulapaguem entered two missions of northern Tamaulipas-San Agustín de Laredo at Camargo after 1764 and San Joaquín del Monte at Reynosa after 1790 (Bolton 1913:449-451).


The name Sulujam has been rendered in more than 30 different ways, and some variants are badly distorted. It is quite clear that the Sulujam, Pampopa, and Pastia were the principal groups for which Mission San José was founded in 1720 (Valdéz 1720:17-18). Apparently most of the Sulujam who entered missions went to San José, for only a few Sulujam were recorded at Mission Valero (Schuetz 1980b:54).

In 1708 the Sulujam were reported to be living along the San Antonio River from the site of the City of San Antonio downstream for an unspecified distance (Tous 1930:5, 13). In the previous year, 1708, Espinosa had listed them among Indian groups living somewhere in present southern Texas (Maas 1915:36-37). On her map, Schuetz (1980b) doubtfully places the Sulujam in northeastern Coahuila. They may have lived there originally, but we are unable to clarify this by citing Coahuila documents.

The language spoken by the Sulujam seems to have been Coahuilteco. The mission foundation documents indicate that the Sulujam, Pampopa, and Pastia all spoke the same language, and García (1760:title page) lists the Pampopa among those who spoke Coahuilteco.


See Concepción: Tacame.


The name Tejas, which is Caddoan and means "friends" or "allies," was used by Spaniards to refer collectively to most of the Hasinai Caddoans of eastern Texas (Swanton 1942). Schuetz (1980b:53, 56) reports "Texa" and "Tejas" at San José and Valero (only two individuals are so identified at Valero). The few Eyeish and Tejas of San José and Valero seem to be the only Caddoans recorded at San Antonio missions.


At Mission San José the Tenicapem were recorded as Tanaicapeme (Bolton, in Hodge 1907 Vol. I:958). Bolton (in Hodge 1910 Vol. II:729) errs in attempting to equate Tenicapem with Saulapaguem. The Tenicapem originally lived in the Rio Grande delta region and are described in the same documents of 1747 and 1758 cited for the Saulapaguem above. The details on economic life, clothing, face and body decoration, and language will not be repeated here.


In 1767 José de Sol is listed the Xauna as one of several Indian groups who had entered Mission San José sometime after its foundation in 1720 (Forrestal 1931:20; Kress and Hatcher 1931:51). In secondary sources this name has been altered to Huane (Hodge 1907 Vol. I:574) and Xama (Hackett 1931 Vol I:263). No one has yet been able to establish an identity for the Xauna. They are probably the same as the Anna listed by Rivera y Villalón (1945:125) and the Xana listed by Barrio Junco y Espriel la (1763:148). Both Anna and Xana were listed for southern Texas. Perhaps all of these names refer to the Anxau who were seen in 1690 by Damián Massanet on the Medina River west or southwest of modern San Antonio (Gómez Canedo 1968:160).

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Last Updated: 26-Apr-2007